My tryst with Himalayas started when i first visited Vaishno Devi in Jammu & Kashmir State followed by a winter visit to Srinagar, Gulmarg and Pahalagam. Whatever i witnessed was enough for me to appreciate the bright prospects of Kashmir Tourism and I got hooked to Kashmir and Himalaya forever. Since then, I have been to Himalayas for many times and it is like a second home for me. My way of exploring Himalayas is self-drive road tripping and driving in Himalayas gives me real adrenaline-filled-kick every time I hit the road. The kick takes me to ecstasy level when I drive in Himalayas.
During my Road Trip To Spiti Valley, i drove through one of the toughest topography in my Ford Figo and tested my driving skills to the core. Without a doubt, I can say that driving the complete Spiti Circuit is the epic achievement of my life and one stretch from Kaza to Komic is, so truly, the crowning glory of this epic road trip. It starts from the Administrative head quarter Kaza and ends at the highest village of Asia Komic which is home to The Highest Monastery of the world i.e. Tangyud Monastery.
This drive of 20 KM uphill takes you from 12000 ft to 15000 ft in 2 hours and meander through insanely heaven-like landscapes on an unpaved mud like road. Conditions like unpaved road, drastic change in weather, depletion in oxygen level etc make it a tough drive. However, after this effort what you see is invaluable. I literally have no word to describe what I saw there, it was completely out of this world. Centuries of Isolation has made this 20 KM stretch a perfect virgin land to be explored.
This divine drive took us through Fossil Village – Langza and after bypassing Hikkim which houses highest Post Office in the world ended at Komik which is the highest village in Asia.
After a drive of 11 KM from Kaza, a giant statue of Golden Buddha announces the arrival of Langza Village. With a population of 158 high Himalayan tribals, Langza is the most beautiful inhabited location in the world for me. Spread right under the majestic grandeur of snow capped peak Chau Chau Kang Nilda which means Princess Mountain, this is a real natural wonder. In all true sense, I never imagined in my distant thoughts that I would ever see something so mesmerizing in my life. This village is the ultimate Utopia for a traveling soul.
After Langza, our planned stop was Hikkim, however, due to road construction; we could not reach this village. And in fact we were pretty fine with that as we knew, Spiti would again call us and till then Hikkim would be our inspiration.
Further 9 KM from Langza, lies the highest village of Asia i.e. Komic which is at 15000 Ft from sea level and boasts of 13 households. Tangyud Monastery of Komic is a fort-monastery built on the edge of a steep canyon. It is the highest motorable Buddhist Monastery in the world. Though it is a small monastery but its picturesque locations makes it must visit.
Standing at the edge overlooking the valley, I felt a different enthusiasm within myself for finally reaching highest motorable village in my Hatchback. I was in utter awe for I had surpassed the inaccessible and could breathe amidst chilly and speedy winds from Himalaya. And the scene from the top of the world was breathtaking.
Now I would let the photographs take you there:
The entire experience generated variety of impression deep within me, on my soul and mind. Nothing was mundane about this drive as every mile of drive created unforgettable memories worth holding on to forever. It has touched me at spiritual level and thus for me it would always remain the ultimate divine drive.
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